Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


How to Reset a Cat's Dislocated Shoulder

By Elizabeth Tumbarello | Updated September 26, 2017

Items you will need

  • Muzzle

  • Welding gloves

  • Towel

  • Board

  • Cat Carrier

  • Veterinarian

There is no safe way to reset a cat's dislocated shoulder at home. This is one of the few occasions where a pet owner will have to bite the bullet and take the cat to a veterinarian. There are a few steps you can take, however, to make the transportation and care of the cat easier until such a time that you can seek appropriate veterinary medical attention. The physical restraint of the cat is of utmost importance. A scared cat who is in pain may react in fear and dart off, or react with aggression towards its owners or handlers. Taking the proper precautions to keep you and the cat safe until help can be found is one o the few things you can do at home to help with the repair of a dislocated shoulder in a feline.

Place a muzzle specifically designed for cats onto the feline. You won't get any love for this, but it will keep you and medical personnel from receiving a nasty injury from a scared and pained cat.

Wear welding gloves when handling the cat. Even if the cat would, under normal circumstances, be an angel, she is in pain right now and her actions are unpredictable. Claws and teeth are the biggest danger.

Wrap a towel tightly around the cat, securing all limbs if possible. Do not force limbs into an unnatural or ergonomically unsound position.

Secure a second towel around the cat, who is wrapped in one towel already, and the wooden board. This will keep him from moving about and possibly injuring himself further. Think of it like a feline stretcher.

Place the cat into the carrier, and head to your veterinarian's office he can correct the problem.

References (3)

  • "Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians"; Joanna Bassert, Dennis McCurnin; 2009
  • "Minor veterinary surgery: a handbook for veterinary nurses"; Julian Hoad; 2008
  • "Pet First Aid & Disaster Response Guide: Critical Lessons from Veterinarians"; G. Elaine Acker; 2008


Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.